tv ABC World News With Diane Sawyer ABC September 8, 2010 4:30pm-5:00pm PST
conference i thought. >> a little different. >> thanks for joining us. world news is next. i'm cheryl jenning autos hope to see you tonight on "world news," the fight is on. the campaign showdown on taxes and the economy. as the president calls out republicans by name. and they are under water in parts of texas, swamped by a foot of rain from hermine. rescues at the last minute. "world news" investigates. what if translators for u.s. soldiers in afghanistan only pretended to know the language? the wrong world can be fatal. brian ross is here. and getting answers on your health. dr. oz talks about his cancer scare. we ask more questions about preventing cancer for everyone. and here east's a dancing d. new scientific proof how you can be a star when your friends go dancing.
good evening. it will be the big battle to the finish line in november, and this is the question -- how big a tax cut will you get next year? and should taxes increase on the wealthiest americans? we have an exclusive interview with the president tonight. he walked into the lion's den today, challenging republicans on taxes and the economy. the republicans quick to fire back. we get the whole story starting with jake tapper at the white house. jake? >> reporter: good evening, diane. well, that's right. president obama's speech in cleveland today, he laid out some economic proposals, but mainly the speech seemed focused on making sure that the midterm elections are not a referendum on him and the democrats but rather a choice between two competing visions. president obama came to cleveland, ohio, today to kick off the election season. >> we've got some business to do today. >> reporter: reusing the same campaign themes that worked for him two years ago to contrast himself with republicans.
>> unity instead of division. hope instead of fear. it's still fear versus hope. the past versus the future. that's what this election is about. that's the choice you will face in november. >> reporter: one major choice is about the bush tax cuts which are set to expire at the end of the year. president obama wants to extend them for everyone who earns under $200,000 a year, or $250,000 for families. republicans want to extend them for everyone, including wealthier americans. >> what i will do is help small businesses who have no clue what the coming tax rates are going to be. gives them some certainty. >> they would have us borrow $700 billion over the next ten years to give a tax cut of about $100,000, each, to folks who are already millionaires. >> reporter: the president has been going after house minority leader john boehner for days now. >> the republican who thinks he's going to take over as speaker -- i'm just saying,
that's his opinion. he's entitled to his opinion. >> reporter: today, the president mentioned him by name eight times. >> mr. boehner. mr. boehner. mr. boehner. mr. boehner. >> reporter: he's trying to make boehner, a republican house leader during the bush years, his de facto republican opponent. seizing on a speech boehner gave just over two weeks ago. >> there were no new ideas. there was just the same philosophy that we had already tried during the decade that they were in power. >> reporter: and diane, president obama was full of praise for some republicans today -- reagan, eisenhower, lincoln. all of whom are dead. he called those great leaders, and suggested the current crop of republicans is not. diane? >> well, thank you, jake. and as you just told us, the white house does argue that this is the choice. either america borrows $700 billion or increases taxes on the wealthy to get that money. but republicans say raising
taxes even on the wealthy will hurt too many small businesses, and that will stall the creation of jobs. so who's right? we asked jonathan karl to check the facts. >> reporter: republicans claim raising taxes on those earning more than $200,000 a year would hurt small businesses. are they right? well, drew greenblatt has a wire basket company in baltimore that employs 30 people. he says raising the top rates would cost his company $20,000 to $40,000 next year. >> well, this is going to pull cash out of our company, so we're going to have less money to invest. >> reporter: he gets hit because his company's profits exceed $200,000 and are declared on his personal tax return. he's not alone. ray pinard owns a commercial printing company in boston that employs 95 people. if these tax rates go up, how much does that cost you next year? >> probably in the area of $120,000. >> reporter: how many jobs will
that mean you may have to lose? >> it would be a minimum of two, up to probably four. >> reporter: but democrats say only a tiny fraction of small businesses would be affected. that's true. according to the tax policy center, which says only 2.5% of small businesses would see their taxes go up. so, 2.5%. we asked the center for tax policy how many small businesses that is. their answer? 894,000 small businesses that would see their taxes go up. a small percentage, but a large number of small businesses. jonathan karl, abc news, washington. and after delivering today's speech, the president sat down with george stephanopoulos to talk about those tough approval polls and what will happen in november. >> my challenge and the challenge of every democratic candidate who's out there is just making sure the people understand there's a choice here. if the election is a referendum on, are people satisfied about the economy as it currently is, then we're not going to do well, because i think everybody feels
like this economy needs to do better than it has been doing. >> and you can see a lot more of george's interview with the president tomorrow on "good morning america." the chorus of voices grew louder today denouncing that florida pastor who plans to burn the koran on saturday. the anniversary of 9/11. and, as we told you last night, terry jones' church has only a couple of dozen members, but tonight, this is the news. not only is billy graham's son franklin trying to reach out to him, so is sarah palin. and, we have a new poll showing what americans really think and know about islam. here's terry moran. >> reporter: he was at it again today, the lanky hardscrabble preacher people around the world now listening to pastor terry jones' every word. >> so as of right now, we are not convinced that backing down is the right thing. >> reporter: late today, sarah palin tweeted her opposition. writing, "please stand down."
and long-time televangelist pat robertson blasted pastor jones this morning. >> imagine a pastor that is so egotistical that he would sacrifice the lives of missionaries and soldiers to go forward with something. this is so stupid. >> reporter: and abc news has learned that evangelical leader franklin graham has reached out to jones to try to dissuade him. so have others. today, in a remarkable development, a local muslim leader paid a visit to jones at his church, and offered him friendship to diffuse this. >> and i said, i'll stand with you. i will talk to the muslim world. i will defend you as my neighbor, regardless of your faith. i think he was very receptive to that message. >> reporter: still, jones vows to go forward, convinced he speaks for many americans. a brand new abc news poll confirms some disturbing facts. 26% of americans admit to feelings of prejudice against muslims. and only 54% of americans see islam as a peaceful religion. 31% say mainstream islam
encourages violence against nonmuslims. still, terry jones seems to have crossed a line. a line that is clear to so many christians, like pastor dan johnson of the trinity united methodist church in gainesville. from a christian standpoint, what's wrong with burning a koran? >> from a christian perspective, we are taught in our scriptures to honor, love and respect other people and treat them as we would want to be treated. >> reporter: but that vision of christianity is a far cry from what terry jones professes. terry moran, abc news. and next week, we're going to start a "world news" series, answering the most pointed and important questions about islam. so, please give us your questions at our website, abcnews.com/worldnews, and we will address them. flood warnings are up in texas and oklahoma tonight, a dangerous situation with water rising fast after tropical storm
hermine dumped more than a foot of rain in some places. at least two people have been killed. many others left stranded, waiting to be rescued. and abc was there. here's ryan owens from dallas. >> it's getting higher. please get me out! >> reporter: the flash floods stranded dozens of residents of this arlington, texas, apartment complex this morning. >> you have to go upstairs for me, all right? >> reporter: the rising water carried off cars and cut off people from their families. >> said the water was up to his knees. >> reporter: firefighters used ladders to bring residents to safety. they also managed to save a few family pets. >> it came up so fast, it was -- everybody is asking me, why didn't you leave? why didn't you leave? it was just -- it was in the blink of an eye, how quick it went up. >> there you go. >> reporter: she wasn't the only one surprised. large portions of texas, from austin to dallas, saw a foot of rain, all more than 36 hours after hermine made landfall, 500 miles to the south.
>> reporter: tonight, what's left of hermooin spawned off to dallas, including this one very close to downtown dallas. oklahoma is next, but much of the midwest will feel her wrath by the end of the week. ryan owens, abc news, dallas. and, onto colorado now, where at least four people are missing west of boulder, where a huge wildfire is burning out of control for a second night. thousands of people have fled their homes. and 300 firefighters are dealing with flames, even rattlesnakes. clayton sandell is in boulder again tonight, where our team got the first look at the homes damaged by fire. >> reporter: in the air and on the ground, the fight continues. we had our first look inside the fire zone today. and found a land of charred destruction. authorities worry there may be victims among this rubble. four residents are still missing. >> many of those are people who
didn't evacuate. >> reporter: to give you an idea of how fast this fire was moving, i'm standing in what's left of a burned-out fire station. the fire truck never made it out. when the blaze started, radio calls captured firefighter's fear that this was something big. >> we have a fully involved fire. i have trees torching. get gold hill fire out now. >> reporter: still, on the eastern edge of this fire, we found anne and sandy butterfield ignoring evacuation orders to defend their home. >> i don't think this is a smart thing to do for everyone. and it may not be a smart thing for us to do. >> reporter: they are packed and ready to escape, knowing this fire is still out of control. clayton sandell, abc news, boulder. and now, "world news" investigates. it's a frightening possibility. you're in war in afghanistan, and the translator guarding you and guiding you is only pretending to know the local language. the languages in that country are complicated, at best, but
now a whistle blower has come forward, alleging that a big private contractor is faking the competence of some of its translators. which can risk lives. here's chief investigative correspondent brian ross. >> reporter: a british journalist caught this failure to communicate in 2008, in an exchange between a village elder and u.s. army translator about security. "i just told you, there is no security here. we've yet to see any security around here." >> we are fine. we have no problems here. >> reporter: exactly the opposite of what the villager had said. u.s. soldiers in afghanistan rely heavily on private translators, who can earn as much as $210,000 a year. since 2007, most of the army's afghan translators, though not the one in that tape, have been recruited by one u.s. company, called mission essential personnel. the company runs tv ads to recruit translators, under an army contract worth up to $1.4 billion. the more translators they recruit, the more they make.
and now a former official says in a lawsuit that the company knowingly sent unqualified translators overseas. >> i determined that someone, and i didn't know at that time, was changing the grades from blanks or zeros to passing grades. >> reporter: paul funk claims company documents show at least a fourth of the translators failed to hit the marks required on language skill tests. three or under should mean failure, according to the army contract. but funk says that often did not happen. >> they were deployed. >> reporter: it's no secret that bad translators can pose a risk to soldiers and their mission. in this case, the translator enflames the situation when he seems to make up an answer to a critical question. >> when was the last time they saw them? >> i ask him, he says one year ago. >> oh, for [ bleep ] sake, are you kidding me? hey, tell him he's [ bleep ]. >> reporter: thanks to the translator, each side parts angry at the other. >> i [ bleep ] hate this town. >> reporter: in a written
statement, mission essential personnel said the whistle blower's allegations are false, and that the company is an american success story. as for the army, they told us today, they could not comment because the company is under a military investigation into the alleged fraud, diane. >> okay, brian ross, thank you tonight. and still ahead on "world news," dr. mehmet oz has a cancer scare, and we decide to get answers about what his experience teaches the rest of us. and what if science could make us less embarrassing on the dance floor? we have an answer tonight. ♪ [ male announcer ] at ge capital, we're out there every day with clients like jetblue -- financing their fleet, sharing our expertise, and working with people who are changing the face of business in america. after 25 years in the aviation business, i kind of feel like if you're not having fun at what you do,
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as you know, dr. mehmet oz is a powerhouse in television, medicine and in health. well, today, he appeared on television, talking about his first colonoscopy ever and the wakeup call for all the rest of us. dr. richard besser, his friend and colleague, explores the questions raised by what dr. oz learned. >> reporter: this week, my friend dr. mehmet oz did something a nonmedical person couldn't do. while under mild sedation he made his own diagnosis. >> i was lying there half dazed and i look at the screen and i realize, my goodness, that's a precancerous polyp. what's that doing there? >> reporter: that's a collection of cells that may develop into colon cancer over time.
keep in mind, dr. oz is fay lousily healthy, preaching healthy living in his books and on his tv show. he's 50. the recommended age for getting a colonoscopy. but oz admits he would have waited a decade without his tv show. he spoke to robin roberts this morning. >> i feel so humbled by it, ashamed, even, that this whole process happened, and i procrastinated, like a lot of guys do. >> reporter: colon cancer is one of the deadliest cancers. second only to lung cancer. but one of the most preventable and detectable. that is because it's a slow-growing cancer that can take decades to fully develop. which allows doctors the rare opportunity to see early changes in cells before they are truly deadly. and remove them. but 22 million people in the recommended screening group, everyone ages 50 to 75, do not get tested. if they did, it's estimated that as many as 25,000 lives a year would be saved. >> so the real takeaway message
for everyone here is, and it was true for you, robin, you can do all the right things, and you are dealt cards that sometimes aren't the ones that you expected. >> 25,000 lives saved by getting tested, age 50. >> reporter: incredible. >> but it had already begun to develop. should he have been tested before the age of 50? >> reporter: 50 is the right age for most people. if you have a family history of colon cancer, or certain medical conditions like inflammatory bowel disease, you should be tested sooner. one of the incredible things about this type of cancer, it grows so slowly that detecting it early is a cure. >> you're good with 50? >> reporter: i'm great with 50. >> have you had yours? >> reporter: i had mine last month when i was still 50. >> and the experience, tell everyone out there. >> reporter: it wasn't that bad. you hear stories, but it really wasn't so bad and i slept so much better having had it done. >> that's right. and i want to weigh in and say exactly the same thing. in fact, join the community out there, everybody, of people who laugh about the experience. it's really going to save lives if you do. thank you, rich. >> and on abcnews.com/worldnews, rich will have more advice on all of this.
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the news tonight. bp has issued its long-awaited report on what caused the disaster in the gulf. bp said it was partly at fault for the explosion, for misreading certain pressure tests on the well. but bp heaped most of the blame on its partners in building the well. and, another moment of terror for tourists, this one at a hotel in las vegas. a 400-pound male lion lunged at its trainer, biting him on the leg. a second trainer and the lioness rush in. the attacking lion does back off, and we're told tonight that the injured trainer at the mgm grand hotel is okay. and, when we return, scientists have unlocked a mystery. the dance moves that can really attract a girl. in some of nature's best ingredients. that's how we created purina one with smartblend. nutritionally optimized with real salmon, wholesome grains
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more than $375 million. we've committed $20 billion to an independent claims fund to cover lost income until people impacted can get back to work. we'll keep looking for oil, cleaning it up if we find it and restoring the gulf coast. i was born in new orleans. my family still lives here. bp is gonna be here until the oil is gone and the people and businesses are back to normal... until we make this right. [ male announcer ] we asked zyrtec® users what they love about their allergy relief, and what it lets them do. the thing i love most about zyrtec® is that it allows me to be outside. [ male announcer ] we bet you'll love zyrtec®, too -- or it's free. [ vonetta ] it is countdown to marshmallow time. [ woman laughs ] [ vonetta ] it is countdown to marshmallow time. vo:well, you could new enever do this before.? >> hello? vo: or this. or this. and you definitely couldn't do this. >> play kate's mix.
vo: or this. >> temperature 72 degrees. vo: say hello to the new edge with myford touch.™ quite possibly the world's smartest crossover. and finally, science has tackled a serious problem, and conquered it for men. what it takes to go out dancing with your friends and impress the girls in the crowd. here's our nick watt in london. >> reporter: presley, travolta, hammer. any man who can cut the rug will get attention from the ladies.
look at swayze in "dirty dancing." some english scientists finally figured out why. >> a bad dancers is someone who engages in very rigid stereotypical movements. good dancers are guys who are making lots of variable movements. >> reporter: they know this because they made 19 dudes dance for their camera. and 37 heterosexual women rated their grooves. named their favorite dance body parts. >> movement of the head, the neck and upper body that seem to signify a good dancer. >> reporter: apparently good dancing demonstrates something called "functional viability" which means that you've got the good core strength, you're muscular, you're healthy, and it means, i suppose, that you're capable of having kids and raising them. you see it in nature, vulgar displays to prove virility. >> we thing that exactly the same thing is happening in humans.
>> reporter: down in the dance studio, they say confidence is actually the key. >> that's the basics of it. if you think you're the bomb, then you're okay. you put a bit of swagger and confidence then it's cool. >> reporter: does it matter to you if a guy can dance? >> most of the time, yes. >> reporter: what does that mean, most of the time? does that mean you've gone out with some bad dancers? >> yes. >> reporter: so there is hope for all you guys out there with two left feet. and another thing -- any klutz can be taught how to dance. >> you got the prove. >> reporter: nick watt, abc news, london. >> nick watt, dancing king. hope you have a great night, we'll be back tomorrow. hope looking inside from sky 7 hd. an accident caused by a runway dump truck. >> the fight over fighting furloughs reaches california's highest kurt. and a local elementary school
can't pay the bills. claim it on a budget now 70 days overdue. >> and tonight the environmental activist makes a plea to the local fbi. >> good evening, we're going to begin with a big traffic mess in oakland. sky 7 is live over the scene. and as you can see this is where a dump truck caused a massive wreck here at least 13 vehicles involved. it's happening along grand avenue off ramp to he interstate 580. >> now that ramp has withi within -- been closed and investigators try to piece together what happened here, we understand three people have been taken topt hospital. others refused treatment on the scene. >> on the phone with us is officer holly josie of the oakland police department. what can you tell us? >> yes. i can tell you so far is that this is a major accident.